Isaiah 30:17
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
One thousand will flee at the threat of one man; You will flee at the threat of five, Until you are left as a flag on a mountain top And as a signal on a hill.

King James Bible
One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as an ensign on an hill.

Darby Bible Translation
One thousand shall flee at the rebuke of one; at the rebuke of five shall ye flee: till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, and as a banner on a hill.

World English Bible
One thousand will flee at the threat of one. At the threat of five, you will flee until you are left like a beacon on the top of a mountain, and like a banner on a hill.

Young's Literal Translation
One thousand because of the rebuke of one, Because of the rebuke of five ye flee, Till ye have been surely left as a pole On the top of the mountain, And as an ensign on the height.

Isaiah 30:17 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

One thousand ... - The sense of this is, that you shall be easily alarmed and overcome by those who are inferior in numbers and strength. The number 'one thousand,' is put for a large indefinite number; probably meaning all.

At the rebuke of one - The number one here is put to denote a very small number; a number in the ordinary course of warfare entirely disproportionate to those who would be vanquished. There is probably a reference here to the prediction in Deuteronomy 32:30 :

How should one chase a thousand,

And two put ten thousand to flight,

Except their Rock had sold them

And Yahweh had shut them up?

At the rebuke of five - Of a very small number.

Till ye be left as a beacon upon the top of a mountain - The word rendered 'beacon' (תרן toren), (Greek ἱστὸς histos, "a mast"), denotes properly the mast of a ship Isaiah 33:23; Ezekiel 27:5; then anything resembling a mast, a flagstaff, or a beacon of any kind. It may refer to a staff or mast erected on a promontory to warn sailors, or to be a landmark - as it is not improbable that the masts of ships would be employed for that purpose; or it may refer to a flagstaff, erected on a conspicuous place, to which the nation could rally in time of war. On the sea coasts of America such beacons are often erected. Those which I have seen consist of a pole erected on an eminence or rising ground, with a cask or barrel painted white on the top. The idea seems to be, that of a long pole erected for any purpose, and which was standing alone, stripped of its leaves and branches, and without ornament. So would be the few, solitary, and scattered Jews when driven before their enemies.

And as an ensign on a hill - (see Isaiah 5:26, note; Isaiah 11:12, note). The idea is, that those who should escape would be few in number, and would stand alone, as a beacon in view of all the nations, to admonish them of the justice of God, and the truth of his threatening - like an ensign floating on a hill that can be seen from afar. What a striking description is this of the condition of the Jews in our times, and indeed in all ages since their dispersion! Their strength, and influence, and power as a people are gone. They stand as beacons to warn the nations of the evils of a want of confidence in God, and of his justice.

Isaiah 30:17 Parallel Commentaries

The Voice Behind Thee
The word behind us which is spoken of in the text is mentioned as one among other covenant blessings. No "if" or "but" is joined to it. It is one of those gracious, unconditional promises upon which the salvation of the guilty depends. There are many comforts of the new life which depend upon our own action and behaviour, and these come to us with "ifs"; but those which are vital and essential are secured to the chosen of God without "but" or "peradventure." It shall be so: God declares it shall,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 28: 1882

God's People Delivered
When the protection of human laws shall be withdrawn from those who honor the law of God, there will be, in different lands, a simultaneous movement for their destruction. As the time appointed in the decree draws near, the people will conspire to root out the hated sect. It will be determined to strike in one night a decisive blow, which shall utterly silence the voice of dissent and reproof. The people of God--some in prison cells, some hidden in solitary retreats in the forests and the mountains--still
Ellen Gould White—The Great Controversy

The Evening Light
This chapter is an article written by the author many years after she had received light on the unity of the church. It will acquaint the reader with what is meant by the expression "evening light." "At evening time it shall be light." "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: but it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light" (Zechariah 14:6,7). The expression
Mary Cole—Trials and Triumphs of Faith

The Baptist's Inquiry and Jesus' Discourse Suggested Thereby.
(Galilee.) ^A Matt. XI. 2-30; ^C Luke VII. 18-35. ^c 18 And the disciples of John told him of all these things. ^a 2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent by his disciples ^c 19 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them unto the Lord [John had been cast into prison about December, a.d. 27, and it was now after the Passover, possibly in May or June, a.d. 28. Herod Antipas had cast John into prison because John had reproved him for taking his brother's wife.
J. W. McGarvey—The Four-Fold Gospel

Cross References
Leviticus 26:36
'As for those of you who may be left, I will also bring weakness into their hearts in the lands of their enemies. And the sound of a driven leaf will chase them, and even when no one is pursuing they will flee as though from the sword, and they will fall.

Deuteronomy 28:25
"The LORD shall cause you to be defeated before your enemies; you will go out one way against them, but you will flee seven ways before them, and you will be an example of terror to all the kingdoms of the earth.

Deuteronomy 32:30
"How could one chase a thousand, And two put ten thousand to flight, Unless their Rock had sold them, And the LORD had given them up?

Joshua 23:10
"One of your men puts to flight a thousand, for the LORD your God is He who fights for you, just as He promised you.

Proverbs 28:1
The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, But the righteous are bold as a lion.

Jeremiah 37:10
For even if you had defeated the entire army of Chaldeans who were fighting against you, and there were only wounded men left among them, each man in his tent, they would rise up and burn this city with fire.'"

Lamentations 4:19
Our pursuers were swifter Than the eagles of the sky; They chased us on the mountains, They waited in ambush for us in the wilderness.

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